With Second Life, it is about a relationship. At the end of the day, it's about harnessing the community and the brand for the better good. Building the new brands with the community - it is a new revenue stream for traditional companies.
Building trust, engaging the community - it is about how the brands learn to work with the community. It is not much different - nor are the challenges different - from opening companies or stores in RL versus SL.
The biggest misperception that there is a big difference between corporate identity and manufactured goods. The difference is that it's not enough to stick your name on the package. The brand is more than just the name, but an identity. As a brand manager, do not be afraid to come together with own groups for your own brands to be stronger, and do not forget that you are a customer yourself.
The brand is defined by the quality of work, the customer service, all across the board. You build it across the board. It's the holistic approach, the word of mouth aspect. With WOM, don't be afraid to tell your own story. That's part of what we buy into - don't be afraid to give away your stock to create evangelists, giving back to the SL community.
And, it has been interesting that the SL businesses have created off world / RL cross-platform marketing. Many businesses have launched Web sites in the RL to promote the business, build the reputation of quality online in RL, as well as in SL. It is about creating your own marketing strategy that works in both RL and SL. And, with a Web site, you reach potential audiences.
Harness the brands as business, and when Duran Duran came into SL, the fans came into SL without much knowledge of SL. The brand of Duran Duran extended beyond RL into SL, the people came to SL, and then these new SL'ers went around and bought clothes, brought in more to the SL community.
Reflecting RL, the SL businesses have learned that they need to go to where the people are. It's easier to find the green dots - the new SL'er members - and to go to them to sell, find where they are. Just like RL businesses open in areas where the new customers are, the SL businesses learned to do the same.
There was also a lot of Aimee Weber love ... whom I already interviewed, and will be posting later this week.
Updated with photo of panel.